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Superintendent Dominguez & You Belong Logo

Dear Families and Caregivers, 

It is with great excitement that I sit down to write my first “back to school letter” as an official Ferndale Golden Eagle.  

Over the course of the last week, the shift in the early morning weather has brought back some wonderful memories. The crisp air reminded me of the excitement I felt as a young child as a new school year approached. I can recall always loving this time of year. The sounds, the smells, anticipation of seeing old friends, and the excitement of making new ones. I have clear memories of the joy I found in opening a brand-new box of crayons. I always admired the variety of colors and the promise of what my own imagination could design with the touch of each one.  

A new school year brings a variety of emotions for children, no matter if they are entering school for the first time or awaiting the arrival of their senior year.  As parents and caregivers, we also have an array of feelings.  My own son Dane, the baby of our family, will begin his senior year this week.  Seems like yesterday when he was proudly marching into kindergarten for the first time. I remember I cried as he entered the classroom. I was his teacher that year, so it wasn’t because I was going to miss him, but because the moment represented a change, a new phase. Moments can be powerful like that. I imagine that many of you are experiencing a similar array of emotions, embracing yet another milestone in your child’s life, looking both ahead and behind.  

I recently heard a quote, “A school is a building with four walls, with tomorrow inside,” Lon Watters 

As I pause on this statement for a moment, the power of what that sentence embraces is a beautiful example of my experience, so far, as your superintendent. A community that collectively sees their children for who they can be, what they can contribute, and helping them to imagine a future that knows no boundaries.  

This year, as I take on this new role, I am also experiencing a range of emotions. I am thrilled to be a part of something so incredible, and nervous, wanting to be the best I can for our students, staff, families, and community. I also know I am not alone; our future is a partnership. As a district we are standing on the shoulders of generational excellence; yet, building a future brighter than any star. Who we are, and who we become, that vision belongs to us all. Thank you for trusting me to help lead us forward. As moments come and go, this is by far one of my most cherished ones for sure.  

Over the last few weeks, our staff has been coming together to prepare our facilities, so that they are ready to welcome your child(ren) into a new year. All our staff have been engaged in learning alongside one another, enhancing their own practices and understandings, so that they can be their best selves for our students. It has been a great reminder that we all wear the hat of learner, teacher, leader, and friend.  

As we travel into fall, I want to let you know that I will be engaging in an Entry Plan process. This is an intentional structure that provides me time to engage in a listening and learning tour. I will be meeting with a variety of community groups, spending time in every school and department, and working alongside students and families to learn about who we want to collectively be moving forward.  

While I engage in this learning tour, I also want to acknowledge that as a district we have important work to do right now. For this reason, Ferndale School District will start the year with a district theme of BELONGING, ensuring that each child, family, and staff member can thrive and achieve at high levels while honoring their individual voice. I find so much promise in the hope that this new year brings.  

As a mother and an educator, I want to thank you for trusting us with your child(ren), that is an incredible honor and responsibility, one that we don’t take lightly.  Ferndale is a truly exceptional community and there is no doubt in my mind that it is our time; together we are ready to fly.  

When you teach to the heart, the mind will follow,  


Superintendent, Ferndale Schools